Supporting Automation In Spacecraft Activity Planning With Simulation And Visualization

AIAA Scitech 2019 Forum

Automation is gaining momentum in spacecraft operations, however, at a much slower pace than comparable application domains. The reasons behind slow adoption is (1) the need for high reliability and (2) the limited interaction between human operators and the automated systems. For automated systems to be adopted and trusted by humans, humans need to gain intuition about the decision making process of the automated system and trust in its execution. In this paper, we present how simulation and visualization can enhance adoption of an automated on-board activity scheduling system, specifically in the context of Mars2020 rover mission. The visualization aims to communicate to the users degree of variance and uncertainty in possible schedule execution. Our preliminary validation results suggest that the proposed visualization increases operators’ confidence in—and likelihood of adopting—the automated scheduling system.